There are some incredibly powerful moments in this issue; one in particular is at the very start of the comic where Doctor Strange takes on a pretty significant responsibility, one that may even endanger his own life. It's a moment that signals the self-sacrifice of a certain character for the greater good, and it's written in a way that is rather touching. The story moves from that scene and into an action packed moment where worlds are literally colliding, and many of the Avengers are visibly nervous. This story is being played out on such a large stage and the scope of it is so tremendous that it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed. There's a lot happening here in this moment, but by taking a step back things become much easier to appreciate and understand.
The last few issues have featured these characters sitting around a table discussing what to do to prevent the collision of their world with another, and the result was a series of really interesting (and rather exhilarating moments). Who knew a simple conversation and zero action could make for a good comic book? Now it seems things are really beginning to escalate and time, for our heroes, is running out. So what will happen next? After being issues a warning, these heroes are coming to the end of the line and they will be forced to do something huge -- drastic, even. Even though there isn't a whole lot of action, a lot happens in this issue as far as the plot being pushed forward. There is a lot of set-up for the coming issues and it will be interesting to see how the story unfolds.
The art is absolutely stunning. Artist Steve Epting delivers some truly beautiful pencils, but his work wouldn't be this impressive if it were not for the stunning inks by Rick Magyar. The one scene featuring Doctor Strange features some very heavy inking, and it really sets the tone and mood of the overall story. That moment is brilliantly executed by the artistic team.
There are some moments that will force you to go back and re-read what you had just read not because it is written in a way that is confusing, but because so much happens in this issue. This is less of a complaint and more of an observation. Maybe Hickman should have fleshed things out a bit more in the issue previous or in the next one.
This is another great issue in a series that is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite superhero books released each month. The scope of this story is huge, something I think would be rather difficult for most other writers to depict in a way that is organized. Here, however, we have a story that is both large in scope and also well organized. The result is a comic that will blow you away. Hickman delivers a fantastic story while artist Steve Epting does an amazing job with the issue's pencils. This is not a jumping on point and if you are looking to begin reading this series, I suggest starting from issue #1: you won't be disappointed.